Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Meat Free Misinformation

Photo Tegan Kristine, sourced from the youtube 'Where does my meat come from?
First of all there has been the Meat Free Monday’s campaign with its sweeping statements of helping to stop climate change, saving the environment, health improvements and even helping world hunger. Fiona Lake answered very well these promoted benefits of abstaining from meat once a week in her blog article, Meat Free Monday Propaganda.

Now thanks to Voiceless this very week, March 18thto 24th, has been promoted as the designated week to go without meat in their Meat Free Week campaign. The same sweeping misinformed statements about saving the environment and also reducing perceived animal cruelty from what is an emotionalised  manufactured term, ‘factory farming’.

If we were taking notice there was a warning of this event back on the 1st of March in his Choice Cuts opinion blog on farmonline Brad Cooper wrote in Voiceless campaign gains traction:

A CAMPAIGN urging Australians to eat less meat proves that some people truly do have more dollars than sense with a reported $60,000 already pledged to the cause. 

…The majority of the funds raised go to my old friends Voiceless, who wasted no time in climbing into me last week after I called them a “pro-vegan organisation opposed to producing food from animals”.

Well, given that Voiceless is prepared to pursue its own profit from a campaign aimed at discouraging people from eating meat – peddling misinformation, sucking in the gullible and misinformed, and undermining free enterprise – it’s not difficult to see which lifestyle it prefers 

The Beef Central article, Farm leaders question Meat Free campaign, gives quotes from NSW Farmers president Fiona Simson and VFF Egg president Brian Ahmed. From Fiona Simpson:

Ms Simson said the campaign seem like a good way to raise the profile of groups such as Voiceless campaigns like these organised by animal activist group Voiceless, but failed to take into account the people it was affecting the most.

She said there were 44,000 farming families in NSW whose livelihoods depended upon consumers eating the produce they worked hard to grow and this campaign lacked compassion for farmers - many of whom had recently experienced multiple natural disasters from bush fires to floods.

Ms Simson said farmers were committed to high animal welfare standards and many had been extremely distressed witnessing the deaths of their own livestock during recent natural disasters.

"I find the timing of such a campaign ill thought out and I encourage consumers to ignore the pleas of such groups and get behind our farmers who work extremely hard every day at growing the best for us to eat," she said. 

But the best response so far to the Meat Free Week misinformation comes from Tegan Kristine, a NSW beef producer in a youtube clip, Where does my meat come from? Tegan writes in the introduction to the youtube clip:

This Meat Free Week, Voiceless asks consumers to learn more about where our meat comes from. Come for a tour of Yandilla Beef Farm to find out more about beef production, animal welfare and the environment!

So let’s do just that and play the youtube, available at the link immediately above.


  1. For six years now since Livestock’s Long Shadow was first published in 2006 by the UN, the gross “inaccuracies” and sweeping claims of the report which fail to take into account regional differences has been used by green groups and animal welfare groups to claim that livestock production is causing climate change.
    The first grossly inaccurate claim is that livestock cause more greenhouse emissions than the entire transport sector.
    This claim has been well and truly debunked as calculations for the transport sector only counted tailpipe exhaust emissions and not whole of lifecycle emissions which were counted for livestock and their byproducts.
    Also not counted as a positive for livestock industries is a calculation for substitutes for livestock products such as leather and fertiliser.
    One of the claims made against livestock is that they cause desertification. Dr. Allan Savory of has repeatedly shown that he has been able to reverse desertification by introducing livestock.
    It has also been admitted that no calculation has been made for the carbon removed from the atmosphere by livestock feed whether it be grass or crops. Nor have any credits been made for Carbon stored in soil or trees owned by farmers. This was regarded as “too hard” a calculation to make.
    I’m sorry but if my industry is to be saddled with a calculation for Amazon deforestation then I had better be getting a credit for the Carbon sinks that I own.
    The final absurdity for the Australian industry is that we and our production system is barely acknowledged by the report writers. We are lumped together with, among other countries, Japan and Korea as Pacific Oceania.
    Even a cursory look at the original report must scream that the inaccuracies must necessarily be huge and like many of the other reports which have been exaggerated so has this one.
    For NGO’s to use this as a basis for destroying whole industries and introducing other agendas and for main stream media and organisations to let them get away with it is a travesty.
    In fact they have added to the misinformation with Beef Central publishing an article today about News Ltd. Papers running articles based on out of date and discredited information. http://www.beefcentral.com/p/news/article/2901

    1. Great comment from Joanne Rea above, And it was good to see the Queensland Country Life ISSUE OF THE WEEK letter of 21 March 2013 "Activists use bully tactics on beef" by John Cobb, shadow minister for agriculture and food security.

      John Cobb said: "Politicians in Canberra on Tuesday attended a barbecue in a clear sign that meat remains firmly on the menu despite animal extremists running a campaign for public to be meat-free this week.

      "People should be allowed to consume meat and meat products without the bullying and misleading tactics by animal activists who want to shut down animal production."

      He goes on to state that he is not opposed to vegetarians but decries the fact these activists "insist on imposing their choices on the rest of us."

      We all know the saying, "One man's meat is another man's poison." Some people, such as one of my young granddaughters, are natural vegetarians; for others meat is an essential food. This campaign is just another unwelcome attack on our freedoms and should be 'nipped in the bud'. A great effort from Tegan Kristine in seeking to do just that.

  2. Voiceless through its Meat Free Week campaign are making claims that red meat increases death by cancer and heart problems. Also making alarmist claims of rising levels of antibiotic resistant bacteria due to the overuse of antibiotics in "factory farms".
    In the article Meat-Free Week message raises concern, it shows that these claims have no solid research behind them.
    "But an expert advisory committee, established by the Australian Department of Health to look at this issue, reported to the federal government that it is “highly unlikely” residues in food would lead to resistance because residues in food are already very low and are likely to be further reduced by cooking, other food processing and by metabolism in the gut.

    In Australia there is a maximum permissible limit for antibiotic residues in food, and food cannot be sold if it contains residues above these limits.

    According to Food Standard Australia New Zealand, resistance mostly happens due to the overuse of antibiotics in human medicine, but there is concern it could happen due to the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals.

    CSIRO said that people began drawing a connection between coronary heart disease, the consumption of fats - particularly animal fat - and high levels of cholesterol in the blood in the 1950’s.

    But research has since shown that lean red meat, which has had the outer fat removed, is actually effective in lowering cholesterol.

    According to CSIRO researchers “it appears possible that lean red meat could diminish the susceptibility of humans to sudden cardiac death”."

    1. At a recent visit to an Orthopedic specialist he advised that red meat should be eaten at least 3 days a week.
      I kind of believe the Medical Specialist before I believe the ragbags who have their own agenda and say that it increases diseases.

  3. The discussion above in the first paragraph has a link to the blog site of well known outback photographer, Fiona Lake.
    Fiona has just posted another discussion which provides an index to where to find good information about meat & health and also meat & the environment. To read [click here]

    BTW Fiona Lake's blog is included in The Blog List found lower down in the right hand column of this site. This blog list provides recommended sites and the list includes the title of their latest discussion posted.

  4. Lets have Free Meat Week instead of Meat Free Week that Voiceless has running again this week.
    From the QCL article, MP's meaty message, Qld LNP MP George Chistensen has devised a unique way of hitting back at a campaign designed to promote vegetarianism.

    "But Mr Chistensen is running a counter-campaign, 'Free Meat Week', which has the backing of the Cattle Council of Australia and Sheepmeat Council of Australia.

    Mr Chistensen said Australian graziers were dealt a “savage blow” when the previous Labor government shut down the live cattle trade and now they’re facing the worst drought in a century.

    “When Aussie farmers and graziers are doing it so tough, a drive to convert people to vegetarianism is just un-Australian,” he said.

    “So I am running a counter-campaign called 'Free Meat Week' and encouraging families around the country to support their mates in the bush by purchasing good Aussie meat and put on a free barbecue for their mates at home."


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